Christmas Pillow Tutorial (step by step directions)

Growing up, Christmas time was full of crafts and handmade gifts.  We would make ornaments and my mom was usually busy sewing gifts for others.  I want to carry on this tradition with our boys, so what is better than filling your house with handmade items during the holidays.  This is an easy step by step guide to making the pillow above.


  • Scissors (or rotary cutter)
  • Main Pillow Fabric: 3/4 yard
  • Cotton Fabric (Large Tree #1): 6″ x 5″ piece
  • Cotton Fabric (Medium Tree #2): 8″ x 6″ piece
  • Cotton Fabric (Small Tree #3): 9″ x 7-1/2″
  • Brown Cotton Fabric : Strip of fabric 1.5″ x 4.5″
  • Interfacing: Pellon 808 Wonder-Under
  • Pillow Insert (I used the IKEA 20″ x 20″ down insert)

Steps 1 thru 5 will be prepping your Christmas trees.  Then you will go on to make the pillow and place the trees.  Let’s get started…

STEP 1: Making the Pattern for Your Trees

I used a few pieces of computer paper to create my tree patterns.  Fold the paper in half and then make measurements like above.  Here are the dimensions of my triangles shown above:

3″ x 5″tall  (this means the finished triangle will be 6″ wide x 5″ tall).

Dimensions of my three triangles:

  • 6″ wide x 5″ tall  (folded 3″ wide x 5″ tall)
  • 8″ wide x 6″ tall (folded 4″ wide x 6″ tall)
  • 9″ wide x 7 1/2″ tall (folded 4 1/2″ wide x 7 1/2″ tall)

***You can customize the trees to be any size you would like.  These are just suggestions.

I like to press my fabrics when doing projects like this and LOVE this product.  It doesn’t leave a starch behind and gets out some pretty serious wrinkles.  I buy mine at Hancock Fabrics.  Now back to our program…

STEP 2: Cut Out Your Trees and Interfacing

Cut out the triangles in the cotton fabric and the wonder-under interfacing.

STEP 3: Iron Interfacing onto Fabric

Place your interfacing on the ironing board with the bumpy side up.  The paper backed side should be touching your ironing board.  This is very important, because otherwise you will fuse your interfacing to your ironing board cover.  I speak from experience!  Follow the manufacturer’s directions for ironing.

Do this for each of your triangles.

STEP 4: Peel off Interfacing

Make sure your fabric has cooled and then slowly peel off the interfacing.  (Look, my nails are actually looking good in this pic!)

STEP 5: Make your Tree Trunks

Using the brown cotton fabric, cut three small 1 1/2″ x 1 12″ squares.  Do the same with your interfacing.  Follow steps 3 & 4 for your tree trunks.

STEP 6: Cut Fabric for Pillows

Note: This is for a 20″ x 20″ square pillow insert.  If you have a different size, please just add 1 1/2″ to the dimensions of the pillow.

Take out your fabric for your pillow.  You need to cut the following:

  • (1) 21-1/2″ x 21-1/2″ (front main piece)
  • (1) 17″ x 21-1/2″ (back piece)
  • (1) 12″ x 21-1/2″ (back piece)

STEP 7: Make a Seam for Back Pieces

You will need to make a seam for the back pieces of your pillow.  On the side that is 21-1/2″ long, you will iron the seam.  Fold material over 1/2″, iron.  Now fold again 1/2″, iron.  Machine top stitch the seam.  Do this for both of your back pieces.

STEP 8: Layout the Trees


Grab the 21-1/2″ x 21-12″ pillow piece and place your trees.  For mine, I placed the about 7″ from the bottom.  Make sure the trees are straight.

STEP 9: Iron in Place

Once you have your trees all placed, you will need to iron them.

STEP 10: Top-Stitch your Trees

Stitch around the trees and the trunks.  I like to use white thread, but you can also match if you prefer.  Try to stitch as close to the edge as possible.


STEP 11: Make the Pillow

Assemble the pillow as shown above.  You will have your “right” sides together.  This means, the back of your seams should be facing up on the photo above.  The finished side of the seam should be against your Christmas trees.

Pin around the edge and head over to your sewing machine.  We are almost at the home stretch.  Stitch around the four sides, using a 1/2″ seam allowance.  Turn your pillow right side out.  Now place your pillow insert in there and give yourself a pat on the back!

CONGRATS!  You made a Christmas pillow!


Have yourself a very merry Christmas!  Please let me know if you have any questions…OR if you give this tutorial a try.  I would love to see pics of your project.  Send me a note at!

If you are feeling inspired – check out the Christmas Stocking Tutorial.

I’m linking up with Thirty Handmade Days today.

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